California Prisons Meth

In this Nov. 17, 2015, photo, provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is Salvador Castro. Two weeks after authorities accused purported leaders of a white supremacist gang with organizing drug trafficking and murders from their California prison cells, they charged leaders of another prison gang Wednesday, June 19, 2019, with running a crime ring from behind bars. Federal authorities allege that high-ranking Nuestra Familia members Salvador Castro Jr., 49, and Raymond Lopez, 31, used contraband cell phones from inside Fresno County's Pleasant Valley State Prison to have narcotics shipped from Mexico for distribution by other gang members.

SACRAMENTO — Authorities charged leaders of a California prison gang Wednesday with orchestrating killings, drug sales and other crimes from behind bars in a case filed two weeks after a different prison gang was accused of organizing drug trafficking and killings from their state prison cells.

More than 50 people were arrested in the latest case on suspicion of having connections to the Nuestra Familia prison gang and affiliated Norteno street gang, said U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

The alleged crimes include murder, robbery, extortion and trafficking in drugs and illegal firearms in Kings and Tulare counties, about 200 miles southeast of Sacramento.

Federal authorities say high-ranking Nuestra Familia members Salvador Castro Jr., 49, and Raymond Lopez, 31, used contraband cellphones inside Pleasant Valley State Prison in Fresno County to have narcotics shipped from Mexico for distribution by other gang members.

Castro has been serving a life sentence since 1997 for a third-strike conviction for possession of a firearm by an ex-felon. Lopez has been serving a 21-year term since 2013 for assault with a semi-automatic firearm with a street gang enhancement.

Neither had defense attorneys listed in court records to comment on the new allegations.

“The fear and violence that criminal street gangs are perpetrating in our communities cannot be tolerated,” Becerra added in a statement.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.